Click here to download your paper copy of the ORPC Policies
Ocean River Paddling Club
Updated February 18, 2017
- All users of the ORPC facilities MUST sign the ORPC/VYPC Code of Conduct
- Any user whose behaviour or actions are deemed contrary to the essence and intent of the Code of Conduct will be issued a verbal warning. If necessary a second warning in written form will be issued. If necessary this will be followed by a written letter of suspension from all club activities and facilities.
- All users of the ORPC facilities MUST be active and current members of the Canadian Outrigger Racing Association (CORA).
- ORPC has the right to deny access to all ORPC facilities if users fail to register as a CORA member or renew their CORA membership annually.
- All users of the ORPC facilities and structures MUST complete and sign a ‘RELEASE OF LIABILITY, WAIVER OF CLAIMS AND ASSUMPTION OF RISKS AGREEMENT’.
- All users of the ORPC facilities MUST be active and current members of either ORPC, VYPC or Latitude 48 or clients of the Boat Storage Shed.
- Costs of membership vary between the User Groups.
- All ORPC members’ fees are due on the 1st day of March of every year (Spring Session) and the 1st day of September of every year (Fall Session).
- ORPC memberships are defined as:
- Paddlers who cannot swim or cannot swim comfortably for 100m, MUST wear a PFD at all times. If paddlers choose not to wear a PFDs under summer paddling conditions, should be comfortable swimming distances up to 500m in cold water.
- PFDs when not worn, MUST be in/on the canoe at all times.
- PFDs are to be worn during night paddles (past dusk) and during winter months (Nov-March).
- Transport Canada requires all vessels to have lights visible at 360 degrees. The OC6s have lights on the bow and stern manu. Additional headlamps are encouraged.
Paddlers are expected to be aware of potential weather changes that can result in rough or dangerous conditions. There are many websites where current and predicted weather conditions can be found at www.weather.gc.ca.
If you get into trouble on the water and require assistance, you can hail using your VHF radio (Channel 16 or Emergency Channel XX) or call *16 on your cell phone.
Winds in the Gorge Waterway and Victoria Harbour have different results depending on their direction and although there are sheltered areas, the ultimate problems often occur with launching/returning canoes back to the docks. Southwest winds are the most problematic in terms of exposure. Winds that are equal to or greater than 25 knots posted at the Inner Harbour (www.weather.gc.ca) site, will be greater outside the harbour and are deemed an unacceptable risk. Should you find yourself/crew in rough or unsafe conditions, the key is to remain calm, and paddle to the closest safe landing or sheltered water and wait out conditions. In the event of thunder and/or lightning, paddle near shore and land the canoe in a safe location. Pull it up the beach and take shelter. If you find yourself/crew in fog, stay close to shore and blow you whistle every 30 seconds to alert other water-users to your presence. It is recommended to contact people so they know you are safe and can notify others as necessary.
If the following conditions exist canoes ARE NOT TO BE LAUNCHED:
- If winds exceed 25 knots (in any direction) in the Victoria Inner Harbour.
- If you are experiencing winds, near the ORPC docks of greater than 20 knots.
- If there is a storm warning or high wind warning and conditions are imminent.
- If there are foggy conditions limiting visibility to less than 500m.
- If there are periods of lightning or thunder.
- If air temperature is below 5 degrees.
- All paddlers must participate in an OC6 capsize Huli Drill on an annual basis as scheduled by the club/coaches.
- It is the individual paddler’s responsibility to provide any equipment deemed necessary to their successful re-entry into a canoe in the event of a huli. (i.e. Huli strap)
- Paddlers will have their boat use privileges suspended unless they can adequately demonstrate their ability to self-recover successfully.
- After dusk, OC6 canoes are not permitted outside the outer harbour.
- The minimum number of paddlers required for an OC6 canoe is 5. In rough conditions outside the Harbour, crews are required to have all 6 paddlers.
- If a huli, accident or emergency occurs the stern or coach involved must report it to the Club President as soon as possible.
- Sterns are required to do a safety check on the OC6 which must include:
- A minimum of 2 bailers
- One throw bag
- A signaling device (i.e. whistle)
- It is highly recommended that each canoe carry a cell phone or VHF radio for communication in case of an emergency or instances where you require contacting shore. Cell phones will require a water proof case.
- An extra paddle
- The integrity of the rigging straps and lashing should be checked.
- If there is an issue with or damage to the canoe the stern will report the problem to the Board’s Schedule Manager or the Club President and post a notice inside the clubhouse so no other crew launches the canoe.
Canoes are reserved for specific time slots and programs through the ORPC Board. The program and canoe schedule is managed by a designated member of the Board. Requests regarding access to OC6’s must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. All such requests will be dealt with in a timely manner.
- Any requests for a temporary change to a program or user’s canoe usage schedule, outside of a regularly scheduled time slot must be submitted to the Board’s Schedule manager or the Board President for approval.
- Any requests for a continuing change or addition to a program or user’s canoe usage schedule must be submitted to the Board’s Schedule manager or the Board President for approval.
- Any requests for canoes for the purposes of a special event that overlaps or coincides with a regularly scheduled program, must be submitted to the Board’s Schedule manager or the Board President for approval.
- Requests for canoes by the Competitive Program for racing events will take priority over other programs and/or requests.
The Gorge Waterway is a heavily used as a recreational and commercial body of water. Proper flow traffic patterns are essential to reducing on-water conflicts.
- Keep to your right in both directions of travel. Travel close to shore leaving the middle of the waterway open for faster vessels.
- When returning from the sea, keep the red buoys on your right This is the “Red Right Return Rule”. At the Selkirk Trestle, where there is a red shallow bell marker, it is a blind corner for craft heading out to sea so proceed with caution. The area between Halkett Island and the red shallow bell marker VXX, is strewn with rocky outcrop during low tides. Unless you are familiar with this area, stay closer to the Island or use red-right return.
- Commercial barges have right of way at all times. Do not cross their bow if they are transiting, as they cannot stop or maneuver quickly.
- New or inexperienced sterns will not traverse through the Tillicum Falls at Tillicum Bridge.
The Inner Harbour encompasses the Gorge Waterway to Songhees Point (Delta Hotel). The Middle Harbour is to Shoals Point and the Outer Harbour is beyond this. The Victoria Harbour is a Marine Airport under the authority of Transport Canada. The runway patterns are set and non-motorized traffic flows clear.
- Non-motorized craft can enter/exit the harbour area using the north shore, staying between the shoreline and the white channel buoy markers until in the West Bay location. Waters behind Colville Island can be shallow with rocky outcrops. Stay in the center of the channel, or transit between the Island and the last white marker. Stay to the right, and do not transit up the centre of the Outer Harbour.
- You can exit/return via the south shore, keeping the yellow channel buoys to your left in both directions. Motorized traffic uses this area, so be cautious and leave a large space buffer if there are motorized craft around you.
- When crossing at Laurel/Songhees Point, there is a crossing marker with lights at the top. These lights flash when there is a harbour plane in the vicinity and is planning to land. If this light is flashing, hold your boat and wait for the plane to land and transit into the harbour. If it flashes while you are transiting, keep moving through the crossing, do not stop or back up. There are similar lights at Pelly Island.
- Speed limits in the Inner Harbour are 5 knots while the Outer Harbour is 7 knots.
- Should you need assistance while in the Middle Harbour wave your paddle over your head. This is the International Signal that you require assistance. The Control Tower will see you. Do not wave you paddle in this manner if you do not require assistance.
- Ocean River Paddling club is situated in the Victoria Marina, behind Capital Iron at 1824 Store Street. We do not have access to parking adjacent to the dock or clubhouse. Parking in any of the parking stalls on the lower level is subject to towing. Parking is also prohibited in the Capital Iron parking at street level. The cost of any towing will be assumed by the owner of the vehicle or the paddler who is parking against the set rules.
- Parking is only available on the street.
All current members of ORPC, VYPC and Latitude 48 will have access to the Small Boat Booking System. Access will only be granted to members/paddlers who have demonstrated adequate self-recovery in the event of a huli and who know how to rig, de-rig and store Small Boats appropriately.
- Access to ‘Small Boats’ is done through the ORPC website’s Small Boat Booking System. Small Boats are not available for use during regularly ORPC scheduled program and practice times. These times have been blocked off the system.
- Time slots for booking are in 1.5 hr. increments. A Small Boat may be booked for two time slots (3 hrs.). Any member who repeatedly returns the canoe late, fails to show up for their scheduled time or uses a canoe that they have not booked, may have their booking privileges suspended or revoked.
- Any damage occurring during a member’s use of a Small Boat shall immediately be reported to the Small Boat Manager at email@example.com.
- Any requests for Small Boat use in excess of 3 hrs. or for a special event must be submitted to the Small Boat Booking Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If Small Boats are to be transported off site, there must be appropriate and adequate transportation and securement of the canoe. Any damage occurring during transport must be reported to the Small Boat Manager.
- If damages have occurred that are a direct consequence of inappropriate or unsafe behavior or actions the ORPC Board has the right to suspend or revoke that member’s booking privileges.
- Inexperienced and novice paddlers must attend a small boat orientation session. Only after successfully demonstrating an understanding of proper rigging, usage and self-recovery, will permission be granted to new paddlers for the use of small boats. ORPC reserves the right to restrict any paddler to certain geographic boundaries depending on their level of skill and experience.
- All small boat paddlers MUST demonstrate their ability to self-recover on an annual basis.
- Small boats must be reserved in advance using the online booking system.
- Paddlers who cannot swim or cannot swim comfortably for 100m, must wear a PFD at all times. Paddlers not wearing PFDs, under normal summer paddling conditions, should be comfortable swimming distances up to 500m. We do not recommend paddling more than 100m from shore unless there is a powered escort boat for safety backup.
- PFDs when not worn, MUST be in/on the canoe at all times.
- Boat leashes are mandatory at all times.
- PFDs must be worn during night paddles (past dusk) and during winter months (Nov-March).
- After dusk, small boats are not permitted past Songhees Point.
- Transport Canada requires all vessels to have lights visible at 360 degrees. Lighting is the personal responsibility of the paddler and can include attached lights or headlamps. A light shining forward and astern is MANDATORY.
- We recommend that for night paddling, small boat paddlers do so with a buddy or a group.
- It is highly recommended that each paddler carry a cell phone or VHF radio for communication in case of an emergency or instances where you require contacting shore. Cell phones will require a water proof case.